Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Learn more about our long history in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) has a long history of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion through rigorous research, innovative teaching, and authentic community engagement. Founded in 1973, the School of Health Sciences at UMass Amherst was led by William A. Darity, the first African American student awarded a PhD by the University of North Carolina. After earning his PhD in Public Health in 1964, Darity worked for the North Carolina Fund, an anti-poverty organization that became the model for President Johnson’s War on Poverty legislation. As Dean of the School of Health Sciences in 1973, he launched the accreditation process for the School of Public Health. Darity’s leadership and research demonstrated that societal factors such as systemic racism and discrimination are among the root causes of ill health and disparities among diverse populations. Today, SPHHS aims to provide a sustaining intellectual home for our diverse faculty and students to ensure they're flourishing. We are committed to the success of students from historically underrepresented groups.
The leadership of the SPHHS is determined to support its call for anti-racism with action. It is why we created the Center for Community Health Equity Research; why we support the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network with whom we sponsor a bi-annual Health Equity Summit; and why our outreach and engagement office has launched the SPHHS Health Equity Summer Fellowship Program in partnership with the Upward Bound program. But we must do more. We are currently examining the policies and procedures in the school to remove systemic processes and/or criteria that perpetuate racism and discrimination due to sexual orientation, religion, or social class.
Scholarships in support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The SPHHS offers the following named scholarships to students in support of its mission to boost diversity, equity, and inclusion among its student body:
- William A. Darity Sr. Graduate Scholarship provides financial support to graduate students in public health who demonstrate Darity’s commitment to social justice and is focused on supporting minority and first-generation students in pursuing advanced degrees in higher education. Learn more about Darity's remarkable life and legacy here.
- Harry and Charlena Seymour Scholarship for Diversity provides financial support to those students who have been historically underrepresented due to race, ethnicity, gender, and economic reasons in higher education. It also works to foster greater awareness and understanding of multicultural issues in communication disorders by the infusion of information about linguistic/cultural diversity in the curriculum of the Department of Communication Disorders.
- The Biostatistics and Epidemiology Diversity Scholarship aims to support graduate students from backgrounds underrepresented in biostatistics and epidemiology and/or students who have demonstrated experience promoting diversity and inclusion in public health research or practice. The scholarship provides $7,500 of tuition support each semester for four semesters of study.
In addition to these scholarships, the school provides several dissertation fellowships to incoming doctoral students and summer fellowships to support our efforts to attract and retain a diversified pool of doctoral students.
SPHHS resources for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Anti-Racism Resources
- Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources
- Center of Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Research
- ASPPH Statement: Racism Is a Public Health Crisis
- APHA: Racism and Health
- CDC: Media Statement from CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, on Racism and Health
- CDC: "Racism Is a Serious Threat to the Public’s Health"
- Ibram X. Kendi: "The Difference Between Being 'Not Racist' and Antiracist" (TED talk)
- Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations: The Coalition for Diversity and Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) leaders discuss the coalition’s initiative in this Scholarly Kitchen blog entry.
- Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project (The Association of American Law Schools)
- Sojourner Truth School
- The Conscripted Curriculum and the Reproduction of Racial Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Medical Education (creating inclusive classrooms/journal article)
- Scaffolding anti-racism resources
- Camara Jones, APHA Past-President, on “Allegories on race and racism” (video)
- Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, on “Debunking the most common myths white people tell about race” (video)
- Racism in the United States: Implications for the Helping Professions (Counseling Diverse Populations) (book)
- If you want more women in your workforce, here’s how to recruit (Nature.com article)
- Baratunde Thurston: How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time (video)